Pelješac Bridge to Be Constructed Within 3.5 Years

Total Croatia News

The second phase of the project will be concluded by 2022.

Transport Minister Oleg Butković said on Monday in Dubrovnik that the construction of the Pelješac Bridge would start this autumn, that the bridge would be completed within 3.5 years from the signing of the contract, and that the second phase of the project would be finished by 2022 at the latest. In case that the European Union refuses to finance the project, it will be financed entirely by Croatia, reports on April 3, 2017.

The contractor for the project should be known by this summer, and construction works will start in the autumn, said Butković in Dubrovnik where a meeting of the working group for the construction of the Pelješac Bridge was held. “Last year in June, we started procedures in order to get European funding. Transport Ministry and Regional Development Ministry submitted the project to an independent control body which very quickly confirmed the project’s funding. A few days ago, the Ministry of Regional Development sent to the European Commission the whole project for approval. They have three months to decide,” said Butković.

He added that the government had made a decision that the project of linking southern Croatia with the rest of the country by road would be financed by the state, in case that the European Union decides against funding. Responding to journalists’ questions, he ruled out a possibility that at this stage the project could be blocked by companies that have nothing to do with it, which happened in an earlier state of the process.

“This project also has a second phase, which are access roads and a bypass road for Ston. Some of the property ownership issues have still not been resolved, and we are working in parallel on all the phases,” said Butković, noting that unresolved ownership issues would not represent a problem in the approval of the financing from the EU funds. Butković stated that, from the moment the contract is signed, the bridge would be completed within 3.5 years.

Speaking about other transport issues, he said that the fast road between Dubrovnik and the Dubrovnik Airport was part of a plan that the government would adopt in a few days. “We have concluded a feasibility study, and Croatian Roads will now negotiate an environmental impact study. It is our top priority, but these are all the projects that we need to prepare,” said Butković.

Asked about increase of tolls on motorways, Butković said that “it is not an increase, but harmonization of prices on various sections.” He pointed out that the total debt of the road sector was about 5.3 billion euros, of which about 1.1 billion euros should be repaid this year. We have decided against sale of the motorway system, said Butković, adding that a new concessionaire would certainly significantly increase the tolls. “This way, the motorway system will this year bring in about 200 million kuna more,” said Butković.


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